David Johnson's Travel Blog
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Chickens and Pheasants 2016
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Snow and Mud

2015-10-30

tl;dr: The road from Meeker to Rifle is very muddy.

I left Meeker on County Road 13 rather than Highway 13. For the most part, highways in Colorado are not fun on bicycles. It turns out county roads aren't always fun, either. But it was a better not fun.

The road started off paved, and soon switched to dirt, but it was still pleasant riding. At one point the sun even peeked out for a second, but then it hid again and the sky hit me with a bit of snow. As I climbed the road steadily deteriorated. Eventually it was solid mud, and even if I was strong enough to peddle through it I couldn't because my tires wouldn't get grip. Had one of the sneering elk hunters come by at this point I might have thumbed a ride, but (as I saw later) they are all back at their camps drinking beer. Typical.

I pushed my bike for many miles and eventually topped out. This pass has three peaks, though. Eventually I started back down, and it was downhill all the way to Rifle. This part of the road faces the sun and quickly improved.

As I was fixing a flat tire that the slime couldn't keep up with, a herd of cows came by being pushed by a cowboy and three dogs. Predictably, the cows and the cowboy's horse were unnerved by my bicycle, but him and his dogs kept the herd together.

In Rifle I power-washed the mud from my bike. My clothes and shoes will have to wait. I ate a quick dinner and tried to get out of town on a narrow, busy Highway 6 before it got dark. Eventually I found an old washed-out road that lead behind a small hill that shielded me from the sound of Interstate 70. I set up camp to the sound of the oil compression stations. No I don't know what a compression station is, but they make a lot of noise.

leaving Meeker


heading up into the snow


cows in the road




caution


it thinks it is hiding


a little muddy


graffiti trees


me


up at the top


fixing a flat tire


an actual cowboy


following Rifle Creek through the Grand Hogback


good night Colorado

contact me at le@liverworks.com
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